ELK GROVE, CA - Charges against four men accused of beating a man and stealing his car during a test drive on Sept. 26 were dropped on Monday.
According to the initial police account from Officer Chris Trim with the Elk Grove Police Department, the 27-year-old alleged victim had told police he arranged to meet with 25-year-old Ramiro Castellanos to show him his car for sale. After a test drive, Castellanos walked away and another man, 27-year-old Albert Zapata came up to the seller and demanded his car. Then Castellanos and Zapata allegedly hit the victim on his head, leaving injuries. Witnesses reported seeing two other men, identified as 24-year-old Jose Ruiz and 24-year-old Jessy Arceo, take their vehicles and block the victim's car so he couldn't leave.
Elk Grove officers were notified by several witnesses to the altercation and one of the officers spotted the victim's car with Castellanos behind the wheel. He was stopped and detained and the other three suspects were located and also detained.
Trim said the victim and witnesses positively identified the suspects as those involved in the incident and they were arrested on suspicion of carjacking and conspiracy.
However, on Monday, Sacramento County district attorney's spokesperson Shelly Orio said charges were not filed against any of the men due to insufficient evidence.